Britain’s welfare state could collapse under the sheer weight of the nation’s grossly overweight citizens, a new report has claimed.
Public Health England (PHE), the government body responsible for telling people how to live their own lives, created the report, which claims the British are among the least active people on the planet. According to PHE’s research, two thirds of Britons don’t get enough exercise every day, which compares unfavourably to the famously laid-back French, where the figure is closer to one third.
Thanks to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, caused by more Britons shifting away from manual to desk based work, reliance on motorised transport, and the prevalence of televisions and computers in the home people are now 20 percent less active than 1961. According to the report, one half of women are now causing damage to their health through inactivity, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The report identifies those who suffer from “self-inflicted” disease caused by obesity as causing large costs on the NHS, which in the view of the NHS may become a cross too heavy to bear: “This is unsustainable and costing the UK an estimated £7.4bn a year. If current trends continue, the increasing costs of health and social care will destabilise public services and take a toll on quality of life for individuals and communities”.
In the report, the organisation pledges to tackle obesity, reduce smoking, and reduce “harmful drinking” over the next five years. PHE believes if British people can return to the average weight they were in 1993 by 2034, five million cases of cancer, diabetes and stroke could be avoided. Breitbart London reported yesterday on new NHS plans to pay people to lose weight, a move they claim that will save the NHS money in the long term.
Despite the claims, there are concerns this is another expensive gimmick. Chris Snowdon from the Institute of Economic Affairs told Breitbart London: “There’s very little evidence that paying people to be healthy reduces healthcare costs in the long term.
“On the contrary, it is likely to cost more. Taxpayers would rightly be resentful if their money was used to bribe fat people into losing weight. If the government wants to get more bang for its buck it should close down pointless quangos like Public Health England and spend the money on frontline healthcare instead.”
The publicly-funded body also pledges to bring down smoking by ‘stimulating’ people into quitting, “combating smoking in cars”, and campaigning for the “introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products”. Speaking of their ultimate goals, PHE said: “We want to secure a tobacco-free generation”.